Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Dreaded Bottle

Honestly, by Adelaide's reaction, you'd think that a bottle was some sort of medieval torture device designed to choke poor little babies.  Actually, she hasn't always hated it and she doesn't always hate it.  I think she is trying to be unpredictable.  For weeks, she would take a bottle whenever we gave her one, without enthusiasm, but she did it.  About 3 weeks ago, I guess she decided the bottle wasn't for her and she acted like we were shoving an object filled with poison into her mouth.  She'd push the nipple out, and for added drama, she gagged on the milk. 

Don't get me wrong, it's kind of flattering that she likes me better than the bottle, but I have to go back to work and I don't think that I'm allowed to bring her along.  I have 2 weeks left of maternity leave and it's time to get down to business on this bottle thing.  It's not as though I haven't been trying, but now it seems more urgent.  

Four days ago, I thought we were back on track.  First thing in the morning, I gave her a bottle of freshly pumped milk and she gobbled it all up.  Only, she hasn't done it since then for me or my husband.  She has one of the following reactions to each bottle: plays with the nipple, spits out any milk that leaks out, pushes the bottle away with her hands, or cries.  It is so easy to get frustrated and I pretty sure that is counterproductive to this process.  We're going to keep trying bottles everyday and hopefully we'll have some success. 

I did some research in the baby books, online, and asked friends for help in getting babies to take a bottle.  I compiled a list of suggested advice.
  • Have someone other than you give her the bottle.  You may need to leave the house.
  • Try a new nipple
  • Experiment with baby in different positions (upright in a bouncy seat, being held, etc.)
  • Don't try it when baby is really tired or really hungry
  • Warm up the nipple before feeding
  • Warm up the milk to an acceptable temperature for baby (apparently some babies don't mind it cold)
  • Don't turn it into a battle of wills.  Try 3 or 4 times, if baby won't accept bottle, then wait 10 minutes or so and breastfeed. 
  • Slide your pinky under the nipple when it's in her mouth, then slide it out once she gets going.
  • If all else fails, then you can use a cup.  There is a transition sippy cup for 3 months+ or you can even use a regular cup. 
Luckily, for the first two weeks, we're having grandparents watch Adelaide, so at least she'll be starving with a familiar person:)  Stay tuned...

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